Rachael Haynes, born on Boxing Day, has cherished cricket from a young age, with her earliest memories involving bowling at the door of her dog’s kennel in the family’s backyard. Originally hailing from Melbourne, Haynes made her debut in the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) for Victoria at the age of 19 during the 2005-06 season. She quickly became a vital part of the team and even led her state to consecutive WT20 titles in her initial two seasons.
Recognized for her leadership potential, Haynes was entrusted with captaining the Australian Youth team in 2008. Under her leadership, the team achieved remarkable victories over the senior English and Australian teams. In 2009, she earned her spot in Australia’s squad for their tour of England, and during her Test debut, she came agonizingly close to scoring a century, being dismissed in the final over of the first day.
In 2011-12, Haynes made a move to join the Lendlease Breakers. Her impact on the team was significant that season, particularly during the WNCL Final. In the decider against Victoria, she stood at the crease when NSW lost two early wickets. Together with Lisa Sthalekar, Haynes engineered a remarkable fight-back, which resulted in her scoring 156 runs – the first-ever century in a WNCL Finals match. She was subsequently appointed as the vice-captain of the Breakers and played a pivotal role in the team’s victories in both the WNCL and WT20 in the 2014-15 season.
Haynes secured her place in the Australian team, contributing to their success in World T20Is and World Cups. She emerged as Australia’s leading run-scorer during the 2013 World Cup in India, earning her a place in the Team of the Tournament. After a hiatus of three and a half years from the Australian team, Haynes made a triumphant return in February 2017 and was subsequently selected for the Australian Women’s 2017 World Cup squad.
Her remarkable comeback story continued as she was named the acting captain for the 2017-18 Ashes, filling in for the injured Meg Lanning. In 2018, Haynes served as the vice-captain of the national side, which went on to clinch their fourth ICC World T20 championship title. Her journey reached new heights when she scored her first international century against Sri Lanka in 2019 and formed one of Australia’s most successful opening partnerships with Alyssa Healy, making a significant contribution to her team’s triumph at the 2022 World Cup.